Fish with 'human-like' teeth found in SC lake

LAKE WYLIE, SC (WBTV) - A fishing trip on Lake Wylie went a little differently than one Clover man planned when the fish he caught bit him with human-like teeth.

Frank Yarborough went fishing along Lake Wylie on Sept. 6 and ended up with a catch that is puzzling local marine biologists.

Yarborough thought he'd caught a catfish near the Buster Boyd Bridge, but when he scooped his hand in the water to pull it out, the fish clamped down on his thumb. The bite stung, because the fish had teeth that very closely resemble human teeth.

Robert Stroud, a Freshwater Fisheries Biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, says the samples from the fish have been sent off to Charleston and to Florida to help determine what kind of fish Yarborough caught.

"This fish is more than likely a common species of Pacu, Colossama macropomum, originating from the Amazon River basin of South America and is quite common in the aquarium trade," Stroud said.

Pacus are a distant relative to the piranha family.

Stroud said the fish weighed in just under five pounds and was 19.4 inches long, the largest of its kind found in Lake Wylie.

A pacu is a warm water fish, and not a native species to Lake Wylie.  Biologists believe it was probably raised in an exotic fish tank and was released when it got too large for the tank.

The fish is currently in a freezer in Yarborough's Clover home.

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